Comment on the point of view as it relates to the main characters in True Grit.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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What is interesting about the characterisation in this text is the way in which Portis manages to create characters that have entered the popular American imagination so successfully. For example, the point of view manages to create Mattie Ross, who, more than any other character, seems to define true grit as it is explored as a concept in the novel. She is seems ot represent frontier America and seems to have all the values and traits that are lauded. The narration creates a character that is larger than life and comes to define the American spirit of self-reliance.

Also, you might like to think of the way in which Mattie is contrasted or defined in opposition to Rooster Cogburn. He as well is shown by the narrator to possess true grit, but interestingly he seems to be a strange mix of villain and hero in the combination of traits that he has. The narration is very careful to compare him to Lucky Ned Pepper andTexas Ranger LaBoeuf, ensuring that Rooster emerges as a kind of heroic antihero. The narration and point of view therefore allows the development of such complex and endlessly fascinating characters.

 

 

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